JETS’ hopes of a top-four finish in the BBL were hit last night by defeat to the title-chasing Eagles.
A scintillating shooting night from Joe Chapman fired the visitors to a crucial win.
The American scored all of his points from three-point range, shooting eight of 13 to lead the Eagles offence with 24 points.
Playing without the injured James Hamilton and Shawn Myers, the Jets shocked their visitors by piling up an early 13-2 lead. All it did was inspire the Eagles into a 15-2 burst of their own as they took the first quarter 17-15.
Chapman knocked down four from beyond the arc early in the second period as part of an 18-8 Eagles run. The remainder of the quarter was fairly tight, with Newcastle leading 47-33 at half time.
Three more threes from Chapman and two from Charles Smith gave Eagles their biggest lead of the match late in the third quarter at 71-43, before a rally by Jets made it 73-52 with 10 minutes to play.
With Newcastle relaxing, Jets gradually worked their way back into the match. But the lead proved insurmountable with the closest they could get being seven points.
Eagles held their nerve from the free throw line to move into the final weekend of the season with the destiny of the league title still in their hands.